One of my life-long goals is to write a book. There. I said it. I put it out into the world. There’s no turning back now.
Have you done something similar to this lately (or ever)? Have you confided in someone (or several people), telling them of a future plan, project, or goal that you’ve wanted to accomplish, but have simply been too hesitant to jump into with full speed?
Did you tell them irrationally, without any forethought or planning? Or did you take deliberate steps to announce your new venture?
It’s kind of a scary thing to put yourself out there like that. Isn’t it? You’re basically making a request to that person to hold you accountable. Even if they never mention a word to you thereafter, every time you see them you’ll think about what you said. That’s what I like to call “self-conscious accountability.”
I share this example because it supports a few questions that I personally like to keep in mind whenever I decide to start a new career path or pursue a new business concept. It took a while for me to adopt these convictions, but they’ve proven helpful every time I instituted them.
- Have you established an action or business plan/strategy, budget, and vision statement for your new venture? Before I announced to the universe (and even to my husband) that I was starting or wanted to launch a blog, I did lots and lots of research. I also spoke to several people and drafted a brief vision statement. Unless you’re the type of person who is a die-hard hold-to-your-word individual, then I suggest taking careful steps to flesh out the details before telling anyone about your great idea. There are some people in your life, such as a spouse or parent (or loan officer), who deserve concrete answers as to how you plan to get your idea off the ground.
- Is it a marketable idea? Right now, one of the big marketing angles in the commercial sector is anything related to being “Green.” And I’ll tell you what. If I see a product in the store that advertises “Made from Recycled Material,” “Organic,” “Free Range,” or “Will Cut Energy Usage & Save Money,” I’m more likely to grab that product off the shelf than any other. (What can I say? Over the years, I’ve become more earth-friendly.) This wave of targeted advertising is partly marketing, but also these companies (or rather their publicity departments) have tapped into a part of what is popular in today’s world and quite possibly for several decades to come. Similar to “Going Green,” does your idea support a growing trend as well? Or is it a run-of-the-mill concept with a new spin?
- Is it sustainable? For an idea to be truly sustainable, it must be something that you personally feel passionate about. It must be an idea that you are willing to nurse from inception to birth into maturity, even if it means not generating any income from it at the start. As I began to develop the platform for The Career Pioneer blog, I took an informal poll and asked a few of my closest friends what they considered to be my most compelling attributions and experience, and how does that translate into a topic for a successful blog? They all said in some shape or form: my insight as an explorer of multiple careers, my entrepreneurship, my experience as a stay-at-home mom, my writing, my down-to-earth demeanor, and my insatiable appetite for reading. When I digested those responses, the idea for my blog immediately clicked! My friends were right on target. I was passionate about all those things. And I was equally passionate about being a resource to other folks who are trying to live their dreams. And that, my friends, is how The Career Pioneer was born.
- Does your idea keep you up at night? If so, maybe it’s time for you to take action! I believe that we are all put on this beautiful earth to reach our highest potential, to help others, and to serve a purpose greater than our own mind can conceive. When we start to become restless about a certain idea or goal, and when it’s been on our hearts for some time, it’s definitely a signal that we shouldn’t keep the secret to ourselves any longer. The only way we can achieve greatness is if we stop thinking and talking about what we’d like to do, and start putting words into action. Taking small steps now will ultimately lead to larger steps down the road. But we all must start somewhere. Maybe your somewhere is deciding to tell someone you trust about your fresh idea and then go from there.
If you’ve been following the Career Pioneer blog since it launched, you might be wondering why I ask readers to “keep the discussion going” at the end of each blog post. It’s because:
a. I like to spur lively discussion while ideas are still fresh and top of mind; and
b. Because I’m of the mindset that if we continue to talk about our dreams, goals, and personal development, then eventually we’ve gotta stop talking about it and start doing. Would you agree?
So, with that being said. Let’s . . .
Keep the Discussion Going
In the past, have you shared with someone a business idea or personal improvement goal, only to later abandon it? If the self-consciousness you feel when in the presence of that person isn’t killing you, how about resurrecting your great idea and consider taking another stab at it, making sure you apply some of the above recommendations.
Maybe you said that you’d learn Microsoft Excel once and for all, in order to get ahead at your company; or you’d stop eating so many sweets to reach your goal weight; or you planned to launch a cool business idea, but never put pen to paper to draft a business plan.
Whatever your dream might be, remember that it is possible to achieve it. It’s time to set your dreams in motion, place your faith into action, and get cracking on your goals today! Talk to ya’ll soon!